As a new feature of our blog, we will be highlighting a different career every few weeks. To begin our career information spotlight, we will look at the job of accountants and auditors. Accountants and auditors assemble, analyze, and check the accuracy of financial information.
In the context of history, accounting may seem like a newer profession. After all, didn't people just barter or make their own goods? Wrong! Currency and taxes have been around for centuries. In fact, the system of "double entry" bookkeeping was invented between 1200 and 1350 A.D. in Italy. This method of accounting allows you to record both debits and credits and keeps your records accurate.
There are four major fields in accounting-public, management, government, and internal auditing. Accountants share some tasks across these four fields. However, they work for different clients and have some unique tasks. Within each of the four fields, accountants often specialize in one area.
Public accountants have their own businesses or work for accounting firms. Their clients are individuals or businesses. Public accountants provide accounting, auditing, tax, and consulting services. For example, they examine business operations such as revenues and costs. They go over financial records to make sure the information is correct. They also may develop accounting systems for clients. In order to do that, they first must learn each client's accounting needs.
Management accountants work for corporations. These accountants work as part of their company's management team and help make decisions. They give the team advice about how certain financial changes may affect the company. They record and analyze the business's financial information. In addition, they create budgets and manage costs and assets. Management accountants are also called corporate or private accountants.
Government accountants maintain and examine the records of government agencies. Government accounting differs from other types of accounting. This is because they must follow special procedures and regulations. Accountants in this area may write reports for government officials. Government auditors check the tax records of businesses and individuals.
Internal auditors generally work for a company. They check that the company's financial records are correct. They also check for waste or fraud and help find ways to prevent financial loss. Internal auditors also make sure that company operations are efficient.
Accountants and auditors may use special accounting software. They also must know the rules and regulations for their area of accounting. Both the rules and the software change frequently. Thus, accountants and auditors must regularly take training to keep their skills up to date.
ACCOUNTING CAREERS at a GLANCE:
- Must have a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance or related field.
- Must have good analytical and math skills.
- May work long hours from Jan. - April
- Need a license to practice as a CPA (Certified Public Accountant)
- Ohio median income $67,000.00 per year